Wednesday 18 September, 2019

Are you entertained?! Bring on the next social media star

Screenshot of a viral video showing a man crying over allegedly being 'ripped off' at a guest house in St Thomas.

Screenshot of a viral video showing a man crying over allegedly being 'ripped off' at a guest house in St Thomas.

With Claude Mills

Welcome to Jamaica. People say it is not a real place. But nay, I believe it is, my friends and neighbours. 

Social media in Jamaica is a gift that keeps on giving. It provides its own special species of amusement as well as shock and awe. On one hand, a litany of travesties perpetrated by that peculiar animal of the species, Gunmanae Jamaicanus, as well as a vast wasteland of colourful characters: Mackerel, Candy, Bully Beef - and now a man that people have begun to call 7 Dragon. 

Yes, you read right. Seven Dragon. I kid you not.

For the uninitiated, 7 Dragon, aka Moses, aka Platinum, is a man who became social media famous over the weekend as a video of him, naked except for a condom and acting like a spoiled brat as he complained of being duped by a prostitute who failed to render services after payment, spread like wildfire online.

After that, he was interviewed about the ordeal and he revealed that he was giving her the 'Seven Head Dragon', a position which I believe has not made it into that venerable book, the Kama Sutra. The woman in question was also interviewed and she delivered a scathing rebuttal, admitting that she wanted the money, but didn't want the sex and that's why she boxed, beat and kicked him, and refused to let him mount her again. 

Real award-winning stuff, right?

People have been complaining about being bombarded with a never-ending stream of sub-mutants who are being thrown into the spotlight under the guise of entertainment. But I say, give me more, this is better than cable and Netflix combined. 

Others, of course, disagree.

"I know the new norm for the media is to mimic what’s happening on social media in order to gain viewers. However, the media must remember that it has a vital role to play in the shaping of young minds and helping to set the standards for what is accepted in our society. Do we want our youths to look up to people of loose morals and questionable sanity as role models? Another thing I’d like to know, is the media trying to show the world that only idiots and mad people can achieve success in our local music industry?" publicist and entertainment insider, Ralston Barrett asked in a Facebook post. 

Noble idea? Yes. Outdated? Definitely. Barrett's empty posturing is just a lot of poppycock and about as useful as a fresh pail of warm hamster vomit. 

I am a publicist, I sometimes represent artistes who wouldn't mind if they could issue a press release every time they took a dump. So this is a refreshing change of pace. Besides, what's the problem? Why would you want people who do not represent the general population getting the spotlight?

We are a nation of illiterates, malaprops, and pretentious, loud, colourful people of all socio-economic classes whose long term exposure to crime, violence, parental abuses and degrading living conditions has obviously changed the chemistry of their brains. Why else would they act out this way?

Despite the good PR that the country is ramping up its progress, Jamaica is still a backwater, a charming backwater of great cultural and geo-political significance, but a back water nonetheless. Jamaica has, according to UNESCO, an adult literacy rate of 88.1 per cent.

Only in a few countries female literacy rates are above male literacy rates - in Jamaica, 92.7 per cent of all women aged 15 years and older are literate, compared to 83.44 per cent of men. And I believe that these are generous figures if my daily encounters with our local population are anything to judge.

I am saying all this to say, let the mad carnival continue! Let us be thoroughly entertained! I am waiting on the next incarnation of social media star to arrive, call her Broad Bean, or String Bean or whatever food-permutation is the rage. 

Someone should grab all these people, put them together in an enclosed space, give them very little food rations, copious amounts of alcohol, weed, barbiturates and other mood-altering substances and film the whole thing for our entertainment. This is the best time in your life to be alive and own a cellphone. You will never be bored again. 

That's just my opinion, but then again, I could be wrong.  

Claude Mills is an award-winning veteran journalist, publicist and record producer. You can contact him at claude.mills@gmail.com. 

The opinions expressed in this column represent the views of the writer and not necessarily that of Loop News.

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